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Issue #6: The state of web3 in marketing land
Happy Monday, happy Ethereum merge week, and a big welcome to the 38 new subscribers who have joined us since last week's issue.
Coming up below:
How marketers are feeling about web3 at the moment.
The big issues preventing web3 social from really taking off.
A few web3 communities that are doing a great job, and why I think they've been so successful.
1. The state of web3 in marketing land
I landed back in Australia four hours ago, after spending a week in Boston for Hubspot's annual marketing conference, Inbound. It's easily one of the biggest annual events for marketers around the world.
Between a few web3 sponsors, some web3-related stage sessions (including one by yours truly), and a web3 meetup, I wonder if anyone left Inbound without hearing web3—and its related jargon—mentioned at least a handful of times.
At the meetup, one thing was clear: marketers are curious about web3 but most have no idea where to start.
Some wanted to learn how to break into marketing roles at web3 companies. Others wanted to understand how web3 could be applied to their existing roles and businesses.
Which got me thinking about how I can best serve you. I think the natural evolution of this newsletter will be a podcast and likely a community with online trainings to help you implement the things I talk about in these emails. (Hit reply and let me know if there's anything in particular that you'd love to see from me).
One thing I do know is that right now web3 has a branding problem—the jargon is enough to scare even the most talented marketers away. But it'll become simpler over time. I wrote about the paradox of being early to web3 last week.
What this means for you: I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but remember that you're still early. You're not behind.
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2. Web3 social has a content problem
Earlier this year, Lens Protocol published an open letter sharing the future of social media that they're working towards—a future where we own our content, our digital identity, and our privacy.
Lens Protocol is live, along with several dApps (decentralised apps) built on top of it, each a type of social networking app. It's promising. It's exciting.
But the inherent problem with building a social network? You need users, otherwise it's neither social nor a network. And for users to start using these new platforms, they need sufficient motivation to do so.
Why do people use the main social media apps right now? To see when so-and-so from high school gets married (Instagram). Or a promotion (LinkedIn). Or joins a pyramid scheme (Facebook).
To design a dream house they’ll never afford (Pinterest). To get a cheap dopamine fix (TikTok). To argue with strangers online (Twitter).
Right now, the most promising web3 social apps (Phaver, Lenster, Iris) just aren't that interesting. I want to love these platforms but the content is worse than searching #crypto on Twitter. It’s just a lot of people posting BTC graphs and pretending they know how to do technical analysis.
And so I'll keep going back to Instagram and Twitter until the content gets better. As will the majority.
My take? If these web3 social platforms want to succeed, they need to incentivise popular creators for exclusive content. Spotify increased its share of the podcast listener market by making Joe Rogan's show exclusive to its app.
What this means for you: Keep an eye on what popular creators are doing. If you see them migrating platforms or signing deals for exclusive content, it's a sign that the platform might be worth exploring for your brand.
Question of the week
Welcome to this brand new segment, where I'm answering questions you've emailed me. (If you have any questions about web3 and marketing... Email me!)
This week's question came up a few times at Inbound last week:
Q: What are some communities that you think are doing a really good job in the web3 space?
A: This is a great question because I think there are too many communities that just aren't that great. I've come across a few lately that had promised the world and then fizzled out a few months later.
But on the flipside, there are some communities that have me thinking "man, that was a great idea" or "wow, they executed this well". Those communities are:
BFF — they aim to get more women into web3. I'm in their community and the value keeps coming. From partner perks to weekly events, this is a lesson on how to successfully run a community.
Friends With Benefits — I'm not actually in the community (my application is still pending) but from the outside, everything they do makes me want in. They even ran an IRL festival.
Forefront — This community makes me feel like the dumbest person in the room, in a good way.
Crypto Packaged Goods — In here, I feel like I'm around awesome people doing epic things.
What do I think sets these communities apart from the ones that flop?
They understand who they're for and who they're not for. They can articulate exactly what value the community provides its members, and they consistently deliver as promised. Most go over and above, delivering more than expected.
They're not the biggest communities. They're not full of noise, but rather a specific group of people talking about specific topics.
And all of these ones I've listed require a buy-in of some sort—either an NFT or you need to hold a certain amount of their coin. This filters out the people who aren't serious about participating and encourages members to get the most out of it.
If you've made it all the way down here, that means either you found this interesting, or you're on your way to the unsubscribe button at the bottom.
Either way, I'd love it if you could please take 2 minutes to let me know how I'm doing. What would you like to see more of? Less of?
Until next week,
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This should go without saying, but I am a marketer, not a financial advisor. The content in this email is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. Please take care and do your own research before investing in any web3 projects.